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Posted: February 12, 2008
Seminar in the EU parliament: Nanotechnology - threat or opportunity?
(Nanowerk News) On March 5, 2008 the European Parliament in Brussels will be the venue of a seminar titled "Nanotechnology threat or opportunity? Who is really in charge of policy making in cutting edge technology?"
Nanotechnology is growing worldwide. Huge investments are made by USA, Europe and
Japan, new players like China and India are joining. Like other new technologies,
nanotechnology is the subject for great hope and fear. Proponents envision revolutionized
healthcare, consumer goods and construction industries. Opponents show nightmare
scenarios of self-replicating nano-scale robots and a new asbestos crisis.
Lacking appropriate means for challenging the arguments, politicians run the risk of
committing to a viewpoint too early.
In response to this, and using nanotechnology as the case in question, the concept of a European Transparency Arena will be discussed at the
seminar. Such an Arena will have the purpose to support the European Parliament in its
decision-making on issues with a high technological and scientific content. The arguments
of stakeholders will be challenged from different angles, hidden values will be explored and
ethical issues will be discussed.